Jim Smart
October 1, 2005
Photos By: Jeff Ford

The aero-slippery '66-'67 Fairlane hardtop's charisma cannot be underestimated. It had a body made for improved aerodynamics on NASCAR's super speedways back in the '60s. Ford's need for speed worked to the consumer's advantage at the time because aerodynamics led Ford engineers and stylists to one of the best-looking Fairlanes ever. The darned things were faster on the track and still faster for Ford sales personnel who didn't have any problem selling them. They were good-looking rides in every respect.

That said, it comes as no surprise people are building third-generation Fairlane restomods in record numbers these days. A Fairlane restomod isn't just another Mustang project for one thing. for another, Fairlanes are easier to get into for less money than a Mustang. They're great bargain restomod projects . . . depending on the model chosen.

Don Snell of Michigan had this in mind when he bought his '67 Fairlane 500 hardtop on eBay from a Long Island, New York, seller last year. He liked the Fairlane's coke bottle lines: wide at the leading edges, still wider mid-ship, with a flowing taper toward the trailing edges. Not only was the Fairlane hardtop a nice lesson in wind-tunnel experimentation, it just looked too good to pass up.

Don bought this 428 Fairlane restomod clone pretty much the way it is. it looks like one of those limited-production '66-'67 R-code 427ci drag cars. This tells us restomod is clearly in, with all of the respect and interest the concours-restored showroom stockers have enjoyed for ages. Just imagine being able to reap all the benefits of a rare Fairlane rocket ship without the outrageous price tag of the real thing. Don's Atlanta-assembled Fairlane started out as a big-block ride sporting 390 High Performance power. Everything was there to ramp it up to 428 ci. What makes this car extraordinarily cool is its mileage-just 32,456 original, documented miles.

It is certainly ironic Don brought this Fairlane home to its roots-Detroit-where Motor City Classics built it the way it was in Redford, Michigan, back in 1996. Outside of its 428ci FE big-block and fiberglass hood, this Fairlane is decidedly original. some of the highlights are: Wimbledon White, a blue vinyl Fairlane 500 interior, a 428ci FE big-block with 10.5:1 compression, a B&M C6 transmission, 3.55:1 9-inch Detroit Locker with 31-spline axles, four-wheel Stainless Steel disc brakes, Traction Master underride traction bars, and Weld Pro Star wheels. The 428 is fitted with Crane roller rocker arms, an Edelbrock water pump, a Howe aluminum radiator, Crites headers with a 3-inch stainless exhaust system and DynoMax mufflers, a 780-cfm Holley 4160 double-pumper, and a polished 427 Medium Riser intake manifold. Don has plans for Edelbrock heads and a 2,500-rpm stall torque converter.

This is a snappy Fairlane ride bent on cruising. There's plenty of torque available on demand, thanks to the 428's extra-long 3.98-inch stroke, which is terrific for traffic-light-to-traffic-light performance.

Don's Fairlane is an eye-catching boulevard cruiser. And when you live in a place like Detroit, there are plenty of places to go cruising all summer long. A local favorite made legendary nationwide is the annual Woodward Dream Cruise every August. With a refrigerator white Fairlane classic sporting plenty of power and good looks, cruising Woodward comes naturally.

The Details
1967 Ford Fairlane 500 hardtop
Owner: Don Snell, Taylor, MI

Engine
428ci FE series big-block
10.5:1 forged pistons
427 medium-riser aluminum intake
780-cfm Holley carburetor
Edelbrock water pump
Crane hydraulic cam .548" lift258-degrees durationCrane roller rocker arms

Transmission
C6 cruise-o-matic
B&M shift improvement kit

Rearend
9-inch Ford
3.55 gears
Detroit Locker
31-spline Moser axles

Exhaust
Crites 131/44-inch headers
3-inch dual exhaust
DynoMax mufflers